Data Visualisation Training Courses

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Exponential advances in technology have provided ubiquitous means for creating, recording, and mobilising incredible amounts of data. Where once data was scarce, now it is captured in abundance. As consumers, this has heightened our appetite to know more. We yearn for insight and understanding, we transparency and openness and yearn for insight and understanding through compelling visuals.

As the responsibility for handling, analysing, and communicating data becomes a ubiquitous demand, not just in the workplace but in society broadly, the value of receiving training in data visualisation has never been higher. The availability of data will never reduce and the appetite for extracting understanding from it will only increase. This means the emphasis on learning about, recognising, and employing sophisticated data visualisation practices are more important than ever.

Whilst we have access to fantastic tools and widespread capabilities for data handling and analysis, the techniques required to most effectively display and communicate data are somewhat neglected. In a cluttered and competitive world, a design approach based on instinct or personal taste is no longer sufficient to cope with, let alone exploit, the fantastic opportunities our data repositories present us with.

This is where my training offerings can help you and/or your organisation fully embrace the contemporary art and science of data visualisation. It is an art concerned with unleashing creativity and innovation, designing communications that appeal on an aesthetic level and survive in the mind on an emotional one. It is a science aimed at understanding and exploiting the way our eyes and brains process information most efficiently, effectively and accurately.

Whether you are an individual seeking to develop your skills or are an organisation group looking to enhance your capabilities, these training courses will serve your needs.

Since delivering my first event in 2011 I have established myself as one of the most in-demand, experienced, and prolific providers of data visualisation training.

I offer a range of different training course types for public attendance and private events for organisations, as well as different formats, from face-to-face classroom settings through to online and hybrid. 

There are also different types of training from the short-form ‘Essentials’, through the middle-length ‘Fundamentals’, and on to the long-duration ‘Masterclass’, each designed to suit different learning appetites, availability, and budgets.

Training TYPES

All my training aims to provide attendees with an accessible and comprehensive understanding of data visualisation. They are designed to be informative, accessible, fun, and useful. They are relevant for anyone and everyone.

All courses focus on different aspects of contextual, analytical, editorial, and design thinking – the key characteristics behind the underlying craft of data visualisation. The teaching embraces the complexities and inherently human aspects of communication, helping attendees to understand the many creative options that exist in harmony with the nuances of effective decision-making.

There are four learning objectives common to all types of training:

  • To challenge your existing approaches towards creating and consuming visualisation and infographics, helping to clarify the capabilities required to enhance your competence and confidence.
  • To enlighten you about the wide range of visual communication design options including a gallery of chart types, interactive techniques, methods for annotating, features of colour, and choices around composition.
  • To equip you with an efficient workflow process and robust principles of effectiveness so you have a critical framework to make excellent choices.
  • To inspire you to elevate your ambitions by broadening your visual vocabulary and exposing you to the best examples and case studies.

I currently offer three training types: The Essentials of Data Visualisation, the Fundamentals of Data Visualisation, and the Masterclass in Data Visualisation.

The key characteristic that differentiates these training types is their respective durations. The training is not distinguished by any deliberate stratification of level – basic, intermediate or advanced – it is more defined by the amount of detail one can cover in the time available. The longer the course, inevitably the greater the opportunity to cover the true breadth and depth of the subject in the teaching content as well as the increased scope to incorporate more practical exercises and class activities.

The different types of training are not progressive nor sequential – you don’t complete one then move on to the next. Think of them in terms of being like different sized meals: You wouldn’t order all the meals, you’d pick one or another depending on your appetite for learning, the time you have available, and your budget.

All training is delivered in a technology-agnostic way. The sessions are not structured around technical instruction, point-and-click demos, or tutorials focused on any specific data visualisation package. However, in the longer-form ‘Masterclass’ there is some time allocated to profile the contemporary technology landscape and all training sessions will include shared materials offering references to useful learning resources. This will assist attendees in helping them to find their own specific technical guidance.

Essentials of Data Visualisation

This short-form training offers attendees a crash course about the visual communication of data. The teaching content is organised around several distinct topics that combine to characterise the most critical aspects of data visualisation thinking.

This training is packaged up into 3 hours of contact teaching and short exercise activities, whether for classroom virtual delivery.

The Essentials course would be comparable to a light-bite meal, like a hamburger with a carton of juice – 🍔 🧃.

Virtual/Classroom Course Overview (pdf)

Fundamentals of Data Visualisation

This training course provides attendees with an understanding about how to effectively and efficiently communicate data visually. The training de-constructs this complex, multi-disciplinary craft in to an organised sequence of topics that build up and combine towards giving attendees thorough appreciation of how to navigate through the many creative, editorial, and analytical options that exist.

This training is packaged up into 6 hours of contact teaching and exercise activities, either structured as a single full-day session for classroom formats or two three-hour sessions for virtual delivery.

The Fundamentals course would be equivalent to a hamburger with fries, a coke and a cookie – 🍔 🍟 🥤 🍪.

Classroom Course Overview (pdf)
Virtual Course Overview (pdf)

Masterclass in Data Visualisation

The long-form Masterclass training provides attendees with a sophisticated understanding of how to communicate data visually in the most impactive way. It is similar in structure to the ‘Fundamentals’ training, but there is double the time and agenda space to go much deeper into the nuances of this subject and to integrate more practical exercises to supplement the learning. The training content imparts knowledge of what to think about, when to think about, and how to resolve all the thinking involved in the contextual, analytical, editorial, and visual decisions that surround all data visualisation challenges.

This training is packaged up into 12 hours of contact teaching, exercise activities and class projects, either structured as two full-day sessions for classroom formats or three four-hour sessions for virtual delivery.

The Masterclass course would be equivalent to a hearty dinner formed of hamburger (with extra bacon) and fries, a side salad, a coke, ice-cream for dessert and then a coffee to finish – 🍔 🥓 🍟 🥗 🥤 🍨 ☕.

Classroom Course Overview (pdf)
Virtual Course Overview (pdf)

TOPIC COMPARISON

  • Defining data visualisation, infographics and other related design activities
  • Overview of a process-driven approach for efficiency and effectiveness
  • The key principles of good data visualisation design
  • The role of consuming and creating in sophisticated visualisation literacy
  • The influence of contextual requirements and circumstances
  • Understanding the ingredients of the 7-hats of visualisation
  • Profile of some of the key visualisation tools, applications and libraries
  • Overview of useful tutorials using the ‘chartmaker directory’
  • A landscape of contemporary techniques and styles of visualisation work
  • Assessing the physicality and meaning of your data
  • Using visual techniques to explore data
  • The components of editorial thinking
  • The data visualisation design anatomy
  • The building blocks of data encoding
  • The spectrum of different chart types and their roles
  • The features and role of interactivity in visualisation design
  • The role of effective annotation for assistance and insight
  • Colour theories and best practice applications
  • The architectural considerations for composing a visualisation work

Training FORMATS

Private training is the most in-demand course event format. Data visualisation training can be delivered remotely or on-site for client organisations in the most convenient corporate locations and at the most convenient times. Clients will be responsible for arranging the venues for such training and also for curating the delegates they wish to invite to attend. If your organisation is interested in hosting a private training event please send me an enquiry email to discuss your requirements. On the home page you can browse through the list of clients I’ve worked with to get a feel for the kind of organisations who have employed my training services.

Public courses have been delivered virtually and in public space classrooms all over the world. The locations of classroom-based events are always influenced by the expressed or perceived appetite of people who may be keen for training. If you are interested in attending a public training workshop in a city near you, please email an enquiry to explain your requirements. Public courses are open to and relevant for anybody with an interest in enhancing the sophistication of their visual communications.

Hosted training courses are variations of public courses whereby a third-party organisation hosts and organises a training event, and I just focus on delivering the training rather than organising it. Attendance will usually be open to a managed group of public audience members as determined by the hosts. For example, this may be relevant in situations where a workshop is being offered alongside an associated conference event. If you would like me to deliver a course for your hosted event this usually involves agreeing on a fixed-rate fee in advance or sharing a proportion of revenues generated.

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All training courses events, whether private, public, or hosted in nature, are offered in face-to-face classroom format, through entirely virtual online delivery, or via hybrid sessions that are primarily in-person but accommodate remote attendees.

There are different benefits with each: in-person teaching offers a superior setting for personal interactions between delegates and between delegates and the trainer. It is the best environment for injecting and preserving the energy of a session. Learning can be hard, but the necessary efforts of participation can be eased by making sessions fun and well-paced. This is far easier to accomplish when in-person. In public and hosted courses, delegates have the chance to mix with people with different backgrounds, talents and organisational experiences. In private courses there is a team-building dynamic that benefits these occasions.

Teaching virtually is arguably more intense for trainer and learner, having to concentrate on a screen for prolonged periods can be draining. However, with sufficient breaks and reduced overall duration, there is a terrific efficiency that comes with online delivery, enabling people to attend events that otherwise may be obstructed by geographical or availability reasons. Virtual learning aligns well for those people who may prefer to not attend events with groups. Crucially, online delivery facilitates session recording, giving attendees access to videos to recap content they may have missed or failed to grasp at the time.

Currently, online courses are being delivered using Zoom with Microsoft Teams also an option for clients who may be Microsoft-aligned organisations. In all courses, Miro is used as a digital whiteboard for handling and preserving class activities and file-sharing platforms (typically Dropbox, OneDrive, or Google Drive) are used for providing attendees with access to all course materials (slides, exercise files, other resources).

The class sizes for public courses are typically set to an ideal maximum of 16-20 people though a venue’s capacity or delivery platform may dictate slightly more or fewer. For private or hosted events, the client is ultimately invited to decide what size works best for their needs but they are generally recommended to be no smaller than ~8 people and no larger than ~24.  The aim is always to optimise the balance between a supportive learning environment with opportunities for one-to-one instruction as well as having sufficient numbers for valuable group interactions and activities.

Who should attend?

These workshops are for anyone looking to develop their competence and confidence with making sense of and communicating data. With nearly 8000 people having attended these training events since 2011, the spread of characteristics shows they are relevant to people from all backgrounds: all duties, all skills, and all organisation types.

You might be an analyst, statistician, or researcher looking to enhance your data capabilities. Perhaps you’re a skilled designer or developer looking to take your portfolio of work into a more data-driven direction. Maybe you do not personally get involved in the analysis or visualisation of data but coordinate others who do. You might be a frequent consumer of data visualisations looking to increase the sophistication of how you read, interpret and evaluate the effectiveness of such designs.

You might be a manager of a team, considering the opportunity to host a session for the group to learn together, and possibly see it as a chance to sprinkle some team-building fun along the way. Maybe you’re aware of the potentially network of colleagues spread across your organisation but who have similar roles and a shared interest in raising their skills in this space. In arranging a training course you will also see the chance to formulate a community of like-minded practitioners.

These trainings are always intended for anyone and everyone, all audience types and levels are welcome.

But don’t just take my word for it, swipe through these sample testimonials from previous attendees about their experiences…